ICC and UNICEF Call to Action: Reimagining the World We Need

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and UNICEF are issuing a joint call for enhanced cooperation between the public and private sectors to strengthen the response to COVID-19 and enable a resilient and sustainable rebuild from the pandemic.

Businesses of all sizes are feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the unprecedented measures to contain it. As orders are cancelled and export barriers and movement restrictions cut-off supply chains, millions of businesses worldwide, particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), are at risk. As these businesses are affected, so are their employees.

In communities worldwide, SMEs represent 80% of global employment. They are an economic engine for local and national economies alike. Under COVID-19, this powerful engine could grind to a halt. Under COVID-19, this powerful engine could grind to a halt.

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), approximately 400 million full-time jobs were lost globally between April and June 2020. These job losses have direct impacts not only on economies, but on children—on their health, their nutrition, their wellbeing and their education. The economic fallout could push up to 86 million more children into household poverty by the end of 2020. With the poorest and most vulnerable people at the greatest risk, the impact of COVID-19 could have devastating and lasting repercussions on children and societies alike, making the poor poorer, and pushing millions more into lives of lasting deprivation.

ICC, the institutional representative of over 45 million businesses, and UNICEF, the United Nations agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide, are calling on businesses, governments and civil society to gather behind these urgent needs.